Follow by Email

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The dirt on dirt








"How to Make Compost" is a title that is often seen in the "gardening information" world.  Some people even write whole books on how to make dirt!  This can lead to 300+ pages on one of the most simplest processes on earth.  Let me try to simplify it for you in 5 steps...

1) Take all household food scraps (no meat or bones please...unless you want a catamount in your back yard) from your counter top compost bin and throw them into some obscure unused corner of your yard.  Whether you put these scraps in a $200 designer compost bin, $20 worth of scrap wood shaped into a square, or directly on the ground is largely irrelevant.

2) Throughout the gardening season, save your weeds, leaves, lawn clippings, and garden thinnings/waste -- whatever you have that is from nature -- and add them to this pile.

3) Turn the pile over a half dozen or so times during the warm months, and within 6-12 months you will have compost!!!

4) Then, take a wheelbarrow or two of compost (stuff at the bottom of your pile is usually better), and add it to your gardens. Any un-composted materials can be picked out and just put back in the compost pile. Then you just keep piling stuff on top..

5)  You can facilitate this "breaking down" process by doing two things: 1) water the pile if it hasn't rained in a while, and 2) sprinkle a couple cups of lime over the pile once a year.

But remember, were not baking a cake. It's really hard to go wrong when you only MAKING DIRT.

Not rocket science was it? When I give paid talks for New England Wild Flower Society, which are normally 2-3 hours in duration, I always start by saying, "I could sum up this talk to the important essentials in 15 minutes but since they pay me by the hour were here for 2 1/2."  But in this blog no one is paying me so i have gotten right to the point.

If you are located in Western Massachusetts and are looking for some top quality compost check out my friends of Bear Path Farm.








Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Saw the article in the paper today and wanted to check out your blog.
    Loved the simplicity of your directions.
    I live in an aparment in a remodeled old farmhouse in South Hadley. I have a small garden with a compost "hole" next to it. I throw on it what I would normally put in the garbage disposal,
    coffee grounds and yard waste. I cover the new waste with the old, so it doesn't smell.
    You're right-not exactly rocket science (<:

    ReplyDelete